The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is an active joint found at the base of the skull right in front of the ears. This joint connects the mandible (lower jaw bones) to the maxilla (upper jaw bones). The TMJ itself is made up of mostly cartilage, held together by ligaments in the jaw and head.
The TMJ works as a sort of hinge to help your jaw move in, out, up, and down when you’re talking, chewing, or opening and closing your mouth. Because it’s such a heavily-used joint, it can become sore, swollen, or injured from use. Injury to the TMJ can lead to discomfort, limited movement, and pain throughout your head and neck.
Just like with brushing your teeth to fight plaque, prevention is key with TMJ issues. The best way to fight issues within your jaw joints is to make an appointment to check for problems before they occur. Drs. Pedro Franco, Howard Price, or Drew Havard are always happy to answer questions and address any concerns about TMJ issues at our Irving, Mesquite, and Ennis, TX, offices.
If you do experience issues with your TMJ, the first step is to consult with a professional to accurately diagnose the problem. If a concern is found, Drs. Franco, Price, or Havard can provide options for treatment. Depending on the severity of discomfort or mobility issues, remedies can range from heat therapy to anti-inflammatory medication. Surgery can sometimes be necessary in extremely severe cases, but is usually unnecessary for those who take advantage of a checkup at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
For answers to any TMJ questions, or for an accurate diagnosis of any jaw discomfort you may be experiencing, call us at 972-594-7414 and we will be happy to help you!